iMail Thursday, September 16, 2004
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Campaigns Fail to Reach Young Voters
Politicians are not reaching young people because campaigns are failing to think outside the box, according to a recent poll.

Early Ballots Allow Election Day Ease
In some battleground states this year, voters will be able to cast their votes nearly six weeks before Election Day.

Poverty On the Rise in America
Data released by the Census Bureau last week shows that a frightening number of Americans are now living below the poverty line and without health insurance.

Anti-Labor Day at DOL

On Monday, August 23rd, Machinists, Laborer's, Teachers, Nurses, Professional Employees, Teamsters, Bricklayers, and other union members picketed in front of the Department of Labor to bring attention to the Bush administration's attack on working families.

Where Do Your Dues Dollars Go?
This video package focuses on where the IAM's workers' dues dollars go. This video is a valuable resource that shows members and potential members alike how the IAM works for its members and the value that comes with IAM membership.

To view these videos you will need to download the free Windows Media Player 9

Officers & Territories

R. Thomas Buffenbarger
International President

Warren L. Mart

Lee Pearson
GVP Western Territory

Dave Ritchie
GVP Canada

Robert V. Thayer
GVP Headquarters

Robert Roach, Jr.
GVP Transportation

Lynn Tucker
GVP Eastern Territory

Robert Martinez
GVP Southern Territory

James Brown
GVP Midwest Territory

The 36th Grand Lodge Convention is set to open September 19, 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Grand Lodge Convention to Open Sept. 19

More than 1,250 delegates from 422 local lodges are expected in Cincinnati, Ohio for the September 19 opening ceremonies of the 36th IAM Grand Lodge Convention. The quadrennial event runs through September 25 and provides IAM delegates with the opportunity to revise the venerable 116-year old IAM Constitution. Delegates will debate issues and recommend programs to set the direction of their union for the years to come.

A special convention website has been created to provide IAM members union-wide with daily updates about convention happenings, breaking news, video interviews and much more.

“This convention, like all those before it, is where IAM members make their mark on the history of this great union,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “These are troubled times, and we face challenges as serious as any in our history. But I am confident the delegates to this IAM convention are more than equal to the task before them.”

IAM Calls on Congress to Protect U.S. Pensions

“Airlines are attempting to use the bankruptcy courts to avoid making legally required pension contributions,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “If Congress fails to act, an avalanche of airline pension defaults will cripple the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and snowball throughout all defined benefit pension plans. American taxpayers will end up footing the bill for billions of dollars in pension obligations that these companies promised their employees in contract after contract.”

The PBGC is the government agency created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and insures pension benefits for 44 million American workers.

“The Machinists Union is calling on all lawmakers, Democrat and Republican, to take immediate action and provide the PBGC with the tools that it needs to protect the interests of American taxpayers and 44 million working Americans in all industries,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “We are calling for a non-partisan response before this becomes another savings and loan debacle.”

Maytag Closes Galesburg Plant

As many as 10,000 full and part-time jobs in central Illinois could be destroyed in the coming months after Maytag ends production this week at its Galesburg, IL facility. The figure includes 1,600 IAM members of Local 2063 and up to 7,500 other workers in the surrounding area whose jobs will be jeopardized.

Fewer than 100 employees will remain at the Galesburg facility after Maytag ends refrigerator production at the factory that once provided direct employment for more than 2,500 workers.

Maytag is moving its refrigerator production to a facility in Reynosa, Mexico to take advantage of low wages, lax environmental controls and a government that allows militant suppression of labor unions. “This decision was driven by greed, pure and simple,” said IP Buffenbarger. “There was a time when a Maytag refrigerator was a symbol of American workmanship and pride. That time is now gone and Maytag shareholders, customers and employees should hold this management team accountable.”

Greyhound Repair Techs Reach National Pact

LL 776 members in Dallas, Texas, attend a training class to hone their skills as Greyhound repair technicians.

IAM members who repair and maintain Greyhound buses will vote on a tentative agreement that preserves seniority rights and protects IAM members’ healthcare and pension plans nationwide.

The proposed 3-year pact, covering more than 300 IAM members in more than a dozen local lodges, was reached earlier this week by a 7-person IAM negotiating team including: GLR Paul Morris, GLR Gerry Greer and Business Representatives Mike Louis, Skip Hatch, Joe Kyle and Richard Cota.

“All of the ingredients for a successful negotiation were present at this bargaining table; a strong negotiating committee made up of seasoned representatives who bargained with the full support of the membership,” said Boysen Anderson, IAM Automotive Coordinator. “They deserve to be congratulated for a job well done.” The IAM committee unanimously recommended a yes vote on the new contract.

Outsourcing Fuels Marine One Helicopter Debate

A battle among rival defense contractors to replace the helicopters that lift U.S. Presidents off the White House lawn is fast becoming an election year debate over outsourcing, government contracts and which company can provide more American jobs.

The fight to build a new fleet of ‘Marine One’ helicopters has Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a division of United Technologies, and Lockheed Martin arguing over who would ultimately employ more U.S. workers and which aircraft would contain more U.S. manufactured components.

Connecticut-based Sikorsky claims its entrant for the $2 billion contract would be an “all-American” product, with contributions from six of Sikorsky’s “U.S.-based” companies. Lockheed-Martin argues that its entrant would provide U.S. jobs despite being made largely by AgustaWestland, a British-Italian firm.

Neither Sikorsky nor Lockheed Martin, however, is a champion in the battle against outsourcing. Both have lobbied aggressively for any restrictions on offsets, the lucrative side deals that often mandate the transfer of U.S. jobs and technology as a condition to win foreign contracts. Sikorsky’s parent company outsources much of its U.S. defense work to overseas subcontractors and the company recently announced the opening of a helicopter plant in China.

District 90 Scores Automotive Win

IAM District 90 in Indianapolis, IN brought 11 new members into the IAM with an organizing win at Heart City Automotive in Elkhart, IN. Our new members are auto technicians and auto body technicians.

“Our new members really stuck together,” said Tim Hough, District 90 Business Representative. “These techs are working for a flat rate that limits their pay no matter how much their employer charges customers. They want a collective bargaining agreement that guarantees them the wages they deserve.”

  IAM Midwest Territory GVP James E. Brown praised the District 90 staff: “We congratulate Directing Business Representative John Silhavy, Business Representative Tim Hough and Business Representative David Perkins on a job well done. We wish them continued success in the future.”

Health Costs Rise for Fourth Straight Year

Healthcare costs jumped for the fourth straight year, with family premiums in employer-sponsored plans increasing 11.2 percent, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust.

With five million fewer jobs providing health insurance than in 2001, it is the American workers who are suffering most from the rising costs of healthcare. Only 63 percent of employers offered health benefits to their workers this year, down significantly from 68 percent in 2001.

“Health insurance is becoming unaffordable, especially for small employers. We should expect the ranks of uninsured to grow as small employers can’t afford health insurance,” Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said in an AP article.

Gross Domestic Product Slows

The pace of U.S. economic growth slowed significantly in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department, which reported that the Gross Domestic Product grew at an annual growth rate of only 2.8 percent. The pace of growth was lower than previously been estimated and was down significantly from a 4.5 percent rate in the first quarter.

A surge in imports and drop in exports were cited as the main reasons behind the drop.

“It does indicate that the second quarter was a disappointing quarter. Growth slowed sharply. Consumers became more cautious and our trade deficit ballooned. The economy was weighed down by higher energy prices,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at

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Across North America IAM members work day in and day out in jobs that are the heart of the economies of both countries proving the Machinists are North America's Might. Read it now in the online edition of the Summer 2004 IAM Journal.

IAM2004 See who works for you, how the IAM is structured, and what services the IAM offers. Go to: IAM2004

Cincinnati Skyline The official site for the 36th Grand Lodge Convention to be held in 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio is now online. Check it our for convention news, sponsorship offers, and convention gear.

Check out NewsBriefs, a regular online news service for IAM editors, webstewards & communicators. En Francais.

FlatRateTech is an organization “created for and by Ford and Lincoln Mercury service technicians solely to speak as one loud voice rather than 50,000 smaller voices.” according to their website The fast-growing site offers forums for Ford customers, technicians and dealers to exchange information.